A child who is a confident and skilled reader has an edge in primary school and beyond in work and life. In Singapore, many parents look to reading programs for kids to prepare their children to take on the MOE curriculum. As parents, you can extend their learning process to the home as well, starting with instilling a positive motivation to help them develop a genuine interest and desire to read. From recommended phonics classes in Singapore to encouraging story-related interactive play, here are some easy strategies to boost your child’s reading comprehension.
Encourage engagement that generates interest by introducing the interactive play.
Kids love dramatizing. Boost your child’s reading comprehension in dynamic ways by engaging in creative interactive play through the use of simple props, puppets, different voices for characters, and by copying various funny gestures and actions. For example, together with your child you could emulate the animals’ kicking, chest-thumping, wiggling movements while reading From Head to Toe; pull up various mentioned crayons while reading The Day the Crayons Quit; or throw a “family taco night” in the theme of Dragons Love Tacos. The desire to read is ignited by making the book come alive off the page.
Awaken their passion for reading by choosing books that speak to their interests.
Before jumping to the conclusion that your child “hates reading,” consider whether they are interested in the genre or types of books available in the first place. Everyone, including kids, prefers to read about things they are passionate about.
If your child is taking ballet lessons, introduce books about ballet (better yet, you can encourage her to dress up in her ballet costume for reading time). Stories about construction sites or anything with wheels would appeal to little ones who are obsessed with trucks. Get children interested in reading by exposing them to books on topics they are genuinely interested in – and be sure to display ample enthusiasm as you read with them, too. You will be surprised at how much their reading comprehension improves when they are enthralled by the story topic.
Just as reading programs for kids emphasize phonics, parents can provide clear phonics instruction at home too.
Reading programs for kids place emphasis on providing clear phonics instruction. You can provide at-home learning support too. Help your child sound out the letters as they attempt to read a word. If your child is struggling with a difficult word, be patient, observe, and give your child a chance instead of jumping right in with the answer. Most reading programs for kids provide instruction for blending (joining speech sounds together to make words) and segmentation (splitting words up into separate speech sounds), which are reading skills that can also be practised at home. MindChamps’ formulated Integrated Phonics approach teaches children word sounds by blending graphemes and phonemes. Remember that practice makes perfect.
Ask them to tell and re-tell their favourite stories to boost their listening and reading comprehension.
After you finish reading a book together, gauge your child’s listening and reading comprehension by encouraging him or her to re-tell the story. If your child finds this too overwhelming at first, ask him or her a question about a key event or one specific character instead.
Most children have books that they like reading over and over again. Having a favourite book allows your child to become familiar with the sequence of events, which deepens their reading comprehension and helps them re-tell the story later on with ease.
Make reading time special.
If you already do bedtime reading with your children every night, you are on the right track. Let your child choose which book he or she wants to read, and if you have time, try reading three books a day together: One could be an easier book for your child to read on his or her own to practice phonics; one could be his or her favourite book; one could be a new book. When your child reads out loud, remind him or her to read with rich expression.
Have physical contact when reading together. Your child could sit on your lap or right next to you nestled against your side. This makes reading time a special and intimate bonding experience that your child will look forward to all the more.
Turn your child into a confident reader with Singapore’s recommended phonics class for 3-7-year-olds.